Putting together a website involves making a whole lot of decisions. There’s design, functionality, content and more that needs to be chosen, and oftentimes making the best decisions there involves consulting with someone who’s more knowledgeable than you are with Internet marketing.
One of the later decisions you’ll need to make – but one that is no less important – is what type of web hosting service will you need. That web hosting is a necessity for your website goes without saying (your site requires it to be accessible on the Web), but understand that most Canadian web hosting service providers will offer a number of different web hosting packages at different price points.
When choosing which one will be best for you, your 3 primary considerations will be:
- Optimum performance
- Configuration options
All of them coming, however, after you answer some very basic questions – what type of website do you have, what type of purpose(s) will it be serving (and how), and what type of incoming visitor volume do you expect to see for it?
3 To Start With
Generally, web-hosting packages will include one of 3 different types of web hosting. These are:
- Shared hosting
- Platform / CMS (content management system) specific hosting
- VPS (virtual private server) hosting
So what are they, and how do they differ?
Shared website hosting in Canada is ideal for small businesses, individual sites, sites that have low traffic volume, and sites that need to be launched as soon as possible. And a big part of why it’s ideal for many people is – quite simply – it’s the most affordable option and you can often secure shared Canadian web hosting for less than $25 a month.
Shared hosting works by the service provider having any number of large, expansive servers where data is stored. With a shared hosting package, you – and many others like you – get a portion of this expansive space. It’s not unlike renting a room in a hotel, you’ve got your own little spot – and so does the fellow next to you.
This option also has a genuine user-friendly appeal, as shared hosting users will typically have their own control panel dashboard where they themselves can make changes to their site and / or its functionality. You can set up email addresses, add users, view site statistics, install software like WordPress or Drupal, and more.
As far as drawbacks, the 2 primary ones would be loading delays for users if the website begins to experience spikes in visitors, and also limited control in regards to supported languages and restricted changes to server configurations. The second part of that can be problematic for custom-coded sites.
CMS-Specific Managed Hosting
CMS-specific web hosting in Canada is best suited for small business sites built with a supported CMS, the most common of these definitely being WordPress. If your site relies heavily on content – and regularly updated content – having a WordPress-based website is preferable, and you’ll get better performance for it by choosing web hosting that’s designed for it.
Your site will load more quickly, images and other media that is incorporated into your text will load and show more quickly for visitors, and overall they’ll have a better and more visually-engaging and / or user friendly experience while visiting your website.
In addition, this type of hosting makes your website easily scalable. This refers to being able to control how much you pay for your hosting service – you only pay for what you need and the service handles any spike in website traffic. Lastly, CMS web hosting is definitely the first choice for developer. This is because it usually features tools for moving their sites between different stages of release – from development, to staging, to production, and so on. The entire process is simplified
The primary downside of CMS-specific managed hosting is – as with shared hosting – you have limited control and may very well struggle to find or be able to use any tools that are not provided via your web host.
Private is the key word in Virtual Private Server, as in it’s yours and yours alone! Naturally this makes VPS hosting in Canada the most expensive option of the three here, but if you have a large website or one that offers a SAAS (software-as-a-service), downloadable applications, or is simply a high-volume site, then VPS hosting is very likely the way you’ll want to go.
Think of it as giving your website as much ‘breathing room’ as it needs to run at peak performance no matter what types of strenuous demands are being put on it. You can rest much easier knowing your website will be functioning just as intended, even when large numbers of visitors are on the site!
In addition, you’ve also got the highest level of control and access with VPS hosting, and that’s a real plus for complex websites that are always being re-evaluated for performance and other considerations. You will typically have command-line access to the server, which allows you to install any processes you may need, and this type of hosting also offers extensive scalability. The servers can usually be spun up and down as needed.
Keep in mind though that VPS hosting puts real demands on the Webmaster. Configuring and optimizing your servers – and being aware of when and how often that needs to be done – can be a very time-consuming and intimidating task for those who are not familiar with the ins and outs of website analytics. To put it generally, VPS web hosting packages are often very high-maintenance and as such they’re best value when in the hands of an experienced and technologically savvy Webmaster.
The Right Web Hosting Service, from the Right Web Hosting Provider
Be very inquiring when working with clients in determining their web hosting needs and referring them to a service provider. Start with their objectives, site design, and where they see themselves AND their online identity being in a few years time. After that, the questions will typically be very specific given the type of client and the nature of their business or venture.
There will always be a number of service providers who’ll meet their needs and offer competitive pricing on their web hosting packages, but – again – you want to look for one that has a track record for reliable web hosting to go along with those fair prices. 4goodhosting.com is one such Canadian web hosting provider who can offer right-fit hosting packages for nearly any business or individual and back them with some of the most failsafe web hosting to be found anywhere, from Victoria all the way to Halifax.